Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    Elementary treatises on law.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A name sometimes given to text-books containing the elementary principles of jurisprudence, arranged in an orderly and systematic manner. For example, the Institutes of Justinian, of Gaius, of Lord Coke.
    —Institutes of Gains. An elementary work of the Roman jurist Gaius ; important as having formed the foundation of the Institutes of Justinian, (q. v.) These Institutes were discovered by Niebuhr in 1816, in a codex rescriptus of the library of the cathedral chapter at Verona, and were first published at Berlin in 1820. Two editions have since appeared. Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 54.
    —Institutes of Justinian. One of the four component parts or principal divisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis, being an elementary treatise on the Roman law, in four books. This work was compiled from earlier sources, (resting principally on the Institutes of Gaius,) by a commission composed of Tribanian and two others, by command and under direction of the emperor Justinian, and was first published November 21, A. D. 533
    —Institutes of Lord Coke. The name of four volumes by Lord Coke, published A. D. 1628. The first is an extensive comment upon a treatise on tenures, compiled by Littleton, a judge of the common pleas, temp. Edward IV. This comment is a rich mine of valuable common-law learning, collected and heaped together from the anoient reports and Year Books, but greatly defective in method. It is usually cited by the name of "Co. Litt.," or as "1 Inst." The second volume la a comment upon old acts of parliament, without systematic outer; the third a more methodical treatise on the pleas of the crown; and the fourth an account of the several species of courts. These are cited as 2, 3, or 4 "Inst.," without any author's name. Wharton.